Favorite Looks: Black + Candy
I’m a fan of color most of the time. It’s a great way to spice up a look and it’s a happy-maker if there ever was one :). If you steer away from a lot of color due to concern about saccharine overload, one of the simplest remedies is pairing it with solid, grounding, sophisticated black. It’s easy, it’s functional, you have it in your wardrobe already and you don’t need a Masters in color theory to figure out what to combine. Make black the focal point of the look with an LBD, coordinating skirt and top or summer suit and add accents in a color that makes your fashion-heart sing. I’ve been loving the lavender shades that are finally showing up again; it’s been a lost color for a few years and I’ll never know why – it’s so gorgeous and summery! And it brings a lightness to black that makes a playful variation from chic red or true-but-oft-tried neutrals. If a matching belt and shoes is beyond your wardrobe’s current abilities, carry the color with a bag, baubletry or a scarf instead.
You can push the envelope a little further by eschewing matchy-matchy and going for a same-color-family pairing: soft carnation pink with bright rose, pastel peach with intense orange, pale banana with vibrant lemon, whispery baby blue with deep cobalt. This is a perfect spot for a cord-hung pendant, beaded jewelry or other accent pieces that aren’t all about the metallic.
Black makes such a strong tonal anchor that it allows you to jump off the diving board even further: try mixing two bright shades with it! A simple-with-a-twist tee paired with black denim, cargo or suitpants makes for a relaxed but pulled together look…and the vibe gets super summer-ready with a double color-pop! I love the sunshiney connotation of orange and yellow it just lights up a room! (And your mood :)) Consider other fun two-fers as well: hot pink and aqua, lilac and mint, sky blue and peach, banana and coral. Get a little crazy – with stalwart black hues backing you, you can hardly go wrong! How candy can ya go? :) I hope this inspires you to try out some candy shades soon! Happy styling :)
I’m so behind on my fav fashion blogs lately, ugh! But I was trying to catch up a little at Sea of Shoes and Jane was describing in a recent post how she has scrolls through runway shows for inspiration and it made me smile because I’ve been doing the same. In her case, it’s vintage Prada via their website archives, in my case, it’s recent Chanel and Fendi via the Vogue website. One look that caught my eye in Chanel’s Spring 2019 Ready To Wear line was #66, a pairing of a crisp white button-down with a sequin skirt. We often see glam tempered for day with denim and similar casual fabrics, but using polished, preppy chic as a sharper counterpoint to the shine got my imagination firing! Instead of dressing the glam down, why not soften the party vibe with proper, classic chic? It’s such a fun twist on convention! The formula is simple: black sequin pencil skirt (A-line works too!) + white button-down. Add black leather ankle boots and, for chilly days, top with a cropped jacket (a la the runway look) or oversize blazer (for a true-to-the-collection 80’s nod). Keep everything else simple: a statement ring or earrings, a sleek pony or plain up-do, a dash of color at your lips and done! Don’t have a sequin skirt or not ready for that much glitter? Try a satin skirt instead – and pleated pieces work just as well as pencil and A-lines. Highlight the sophistication angle with slingback pumps. Alternatively, reverse the formula and do the shine on top: a relaxed sequin/shimmery tee or tank pairs perfectly with a minimalist skirt. Think swishy poplin, classic suiting pieces or polished, weighty knits more than fluttery voiles and whisper-light fabrics. Pair with of-the-moment mules to ground the look. I love the boldness of this statement when done in black and white, but other neutrals work fabulously too: gray, navy, beige, khaki, olive. Happy styling! :)
With fashion month just ending (all I want to know is where the blink does the time go?! Slow..dooown, Universe, blast you!) , I wanted to squeeze in one last look from Winter before we’re inundated with all the newness that is Spring/Summer ’19 :). Designers are still drawing inspiration from the 70s and the dark florals of the past few seasons took on an Americana nuance, creating an intriguing dark-bohemian vibe. The cornerstone of the look is a saturated print. Florals are perfect for creating this vibe, but paisleys will do nicely as well. Top a flowy dress with a faux fur jacket (a classic denim jacket is a perfect alternative that ups the Western feel) and finish the look with chunky-heeled ankle boots. I’ve pulled the lighter tones out of the print here to give this look a lighter, looking-toward-spring aesthetic, but if you’re still feeling wintry, consider working with your print’s deeper tones instead. For this piece, I’d be thinking a black denim jacket and burgundy suede ankle boots, or a gray corduroy blazer and black booties. If you’re starting with a skirt, pair it with a 70s-leaning simple, slim turtleneck in a neutral shade. Add a suede blazer (velvet or of-the-moment corduroy works too!) and low, studded booties (Western style boots totally encouraged!). I often gravitate to cool blacks and grays with warm, rich red-tone prints like this one, but here I chose to enhance the vintage vibe by adding equally warm tan and caramel tones. If you’re a fan of golden, vintage yellows, definitely consider working those into this color story as well. If your print comes in blouse form, pair it with denim (straight cuts work, just-back-on-fashion’s-radar bootcut works, flares work. Skip the skinnies if you’re going for authentic 70s. If you’re craving a modern twist on the 70s, skinnies are 100% allowed :)). Lean toward blue denim to help create the Americana vibe. Top the look with a maxi cardigan or a drapey duster - bias toward easy, soft fabrics like knits, chenille or velvet over stiffer woven cottons with a trench-coat feel. Again, finish with low or chunky-heeled ankle booties (if you’ve gone with the skinny jean option above, tuck them in to your boots, all others: tuck out :)). Play up the decade reference by drawing on the warmest, most saturated hues in your print: burgundy and oxblood, dusty olive and deep leaf greens, burnt or rich orange tones, golden yellows, tan, chocolate. PS if you are feisty enough to have floral print pants in your closet, swapping them in for the denim and going with a solid shirt (bonus points for silk!) is a flawless take as well. Happy styling, loves!
One of the growing trends I find most intriguing is the Futuristic look, seen at Chanel, Balenciaga and several other designers. In its purest, most brazen form, the look consists of a silver monochrome outfit paired with white or transparent footwear, but if that sounds like a little too much for your daily life (To ponder: on how many occasions is it appropriate to look like a walking disco ball? :)) futurism incorporates many other elements as well that can be combined to nod to the trend in a more accessible way. Iridescent and shiny finishes, neons and clean, powerful silhouettes all create the vibe in a less ostentatious way. If you jumped on the pleated satin skirt trend from last fall, that’s a great place to start. Pair the piece with a gray, black or neon turtleneck and complete the look with white or black leather booties. (Bonus points if you go for patent leather! :)). Pro tip: if your closet contains a pair of refined shiny rain boots (like these), this is a great place to extract a little double duty from them. Add a bracelet or earrings in a modern material, like resin or plastic. Leather-look leggings (don’t forget about pieces with faux leather accents, or black+sheer pieced pairs)or leather pencil skirts are another great starting point. Add a tee or sweater in a neon tone (alternatively, consider a piece in neutral sequins or silver metallic) and top with a strong-shouldered boxy blazer. If boxy blazers aren’t your jam, try an 80’s-referencing cropped jacket. Bonus points for pieces with slim shoulder pads or shoulder details (bias toward architecturally-inspired themes, more than frills or ruffles). In addition to blazers, moto-styled pieces are a natural fit. Avoid softer fabrics like faux fur or velvet. Think sharp, sleek, tailored. Leather/faux leather is an immediate yaas here, but refined cotton pieces and black denim can work, as can streamlined bombers. Complete the look with metallic pumps. Silver is the most obvious choice, but colored metallic work here, too, as well as black or silver sequined pairs. Add jewelry with straightforward, geometric shapes in black, white or silver. Alternatively, take advantage of shine being a hallmark of the futuristic look and start with a black or silver sequined tee. Pair it with slim denim, cropped suiting pants or, depending on your destination, leggings (yes for a girls’ luncheon, no for work). Give the outfit a practical astronaut vibe by finishing it with black work boots or combat boots. (Refined white boots are also 100% acceptable, as are iridescent or silver metallic sneakers). Add statement earrings or a ring in a bright, neon shade and boom – done! What could be simpler? :) I hope this inspires you to reference the future in your fashion sometime soon! Happy styling :)
With the 80’s making their way back firmly to the front of fashion, we’ve seen the return of maximalism as a style theme. Too much of everything is suddenly a good thing :). The concept can be a bit daunting. Color, pattern, sparkle, metallic – how’s a gal to blend it all? -because the success of maximalism really is all about the blend. I find it easiest to restrict my palette to a single color. It helps reduce the potential for getting overwhelmed and it helps to unite the look. That core of cohesiveness makes maximalism much more accessible – you don’t have to fear looking like you got mauled by Las Vegas :). Blue is a great shade to start because…blue jeans! But you can build your look around any solid color bottom that strikes your fancy. Next up: patterned shirt in a coordinating color. With the current chill in the air, I love flannel plaids, but stripes, dots, florals and checks all work. Top your look with a piece in the same color family. A bright blazer is usually my go-to, but a longline cardigan or duster will do nicely. Don’t worry if you’ve chosen a neutral like gray or beige as your single color – we’ll make it max in a minute ;). Accessories are the last crucial piece when giving maximalism a go and the rule generally is the more, the bigger, the brighter, the better! I like to use texture and material to help communicate the max vibe because it allows you to throw a neutral tone into the mix without diluting the maximalist vibes. Top your look with a metallic or jeweled belt, a coordinating statement necklace (yes, you can go for the earrings too! :) And/or a ring in the same color family. Complete the styling with fun footwear. Basic black leather is right out. Colored satin, coordinating patterns (hello leopard if you used beige :) and don’t forget about all-the-rage snake), embroidery or bedazzlement, glitter: it’s aaaaaallll on the table, so get crazy :). The fun side of maximalism is seeing how far you can get to the edge without sliding over into hot mess territory. This is the time to push the boundaries! - anchored by that over-arching color theme :). Happy maxing out, loves! (Isn’t it nice to max out something other than your credit card? :) Reason #268595 to love maximalsm!)
I really wanted to do a Trend Blast post last fall, but since I am about twenty years behind in life, it didn’t happen. Since at this point, Fashion Month is only a couple weeks away, I decided to use the ideas in a different way. During the time leading up to Fashion Month, I’ll be doing a series of Favorite Things – Inspiration Boards based on the trends so we can all spend the last weeks of F/W 18-19 as trendingly (is that even a word? I think I just made a new word…again *eyerolls at self*) as possible :). Often times, this can be a really blah, bland time in fashion, with the holidays over and spring having not yet arrived, so I’m hoping this will help combat that!
First up is one of my favorites: the multi-hued or rainbow trend. I know it sounds like a grade school, fluffy, Kermit-the-Frog kind of thing, but don’t relegate it to the play room just yet. It can look amazing if it’s handled just right. The key is to temper the myriad of bright colors with a heavy dose of a single neutral. My current fave is classic black. It works especially well for winter as it keeps the look from feeling too spring-hued. Alternatives include dark gray and navy, which will work similarly. If your closet looks anything like mine, I’m betting the neutral is the easy part :). There are gobs of multi-hued pieces out and about right now, in everything from stripes to dots to sequins, so def feel free to pick one up (or a bunch …who said that? :)…#ThatFriend). The fun part of this trend is that unless they’re really complex and edgy (looking at you, Gucci) or done in very nostalgic colors (think muted 70s tones or neon 80s shades) most of the pieces will have staying power because they go with everything and they’re obvious outfit-defining statement pieces, which lets them transcend era. Scoop up a rainbow-striped skirt, add a black turtleneck and pointy ankle boots and abracadabra, you’re done! But what if you don’t want to wait to pick up something new and you need to wear rainbows right now? The beauty of the multi-colored trend is that it isn’t restricted to full rainbows…any piece with three different hues in it will create the idea. And it isn’t just restricted to prints and patterns. Got sequined pumps that reflect in a triad of colors? Break those out and pair them with a chunky, oversized sweater and skinny jeans. Got a sweater with multicolored embellishments, a multi-striped tee, an embroidered blouse? Employ them! Pair with black, cropped denim or ponte pants and finish with a black ankle bootie. How about scarves or baubles with more than one tone? They’ll do nicely as well. Pair them with any black monochrome look for a trendy twist. PS Baubles are especially versatile and useful to explore this trend: if you have several pieces with only two shades each, don’t forget about using both – stacking bracelets, layering rings (even a selection of single-stone pieces will work in both cases). I hope this inspires you to try the rainbow trend sometime soon! Happy styling, loves!
Favorite Looks: Unexpected Jewel Tones
One of my favorite things about autumn fashion is that jewel tones feel right again! After a summer of bright hues and crisp neutrals, I love stepping back into the lush vibe of deep, saturated colors. They’re perfect for everything from lending interest to a work look to spicing up a holiday party. I’ve played with them so often that I’ve come to the point where I enjoy pushing the envelope beyond the familiar, though welcome, burgundies and plums. One of my recent successful experiments is the combination of deep blue-teal and amber. Blue and yellow are always amazing together and this exotic pairing is no different. !). While cerulean shades often show up as a counterpoint to yellows, this green-blue offers a fun twist that feels richer and more surprising. (Hint: saffron, marigold and honey shades work well with this teal shade too). Try it with a sweater and buttondown, paired with beige chinos, corduroys or even medium-wash blue denim (I always consider it a neutral anyway! :)). Complete the look with a pair of knee or OTK boots in any shade of brown that has a golden or red-gold tone: chestnut, caramel, oak, tan,bittersweet. Add a selection of pendant necklaces for a touch of shine (turquoise or golden-stone pieces that tie the look together more closely are 100% doable a well :)).
Pink has been the rage in fashion for the last few seasons, but it tends to be one of my “forgotten” jewel tones. That needs to stop…yesterday! :) Pair almost any shade of it from rose quartz to magenta with bright cobalt for an of-the moment combination. Stay on-trend by including a chunky sweater or plated A-line skirt (bonus points if you combine the two! ;)). Finish with simple pointy pumps or mules in a neutral tone (don’t forget about my fave: metallic gold! – the warmth looks stunning against the cool blue and cheery pink) or bolster the luxe autumn vibe with a complementary jewel tone like eggplant, grape or violet. Complete the look with coordinating crystal or floral statement earrings.
Orange has been back on fashion’s radar lately and it’s another often-overlooked jewel tone that’s perfect for fall with its vibrancy and energy. Pair it with contrasting indigo or violet for a sophisticated take on the warm-cool pairing. Add coordinating statement earrings and a laidback neutral ankle boot. PS Clean, bright oranges also look amazing with cobalt and similar bright blues, while earthier tones work with any shade of brown, olive, mustard and eggplant so consider giving those a go as well!). I hope this inspires you to play with combining jewel tones sometime soon – experimentation is the spice of fashion life! Happy color-explorations :)
Favorite Looks: Mixed Reds
I love a dash of red any old time, but I especially love it in the autumn and winter! There’s something about the rich, warm tone that just feels so right as days get chilly. I tend to pair it with neutrals: chic black, cozy beige, classic navy, but just lately I decided to try combining it with something new: itself. Well, not exactly itself, but a mix of other tones in the red family for a monochromatic vibe without the matchy-matchy situation. This color story feels amaaaazing on: powerful, cozy, chic and inviting all at once! How to give it a try? Start by taking inventory of whatever you have red in your closet …and be broad in your interpretation of the color. Orangey flame tones, chestnut browns, pinky corals are all in play here, in addition to the classic cherry, scarlet, wine and burgundy hues. Now, choose silhouettes that work well together. Try a slouchy sweater and slim, cropped pants (rolled to a shorter length works too) –pair it with ankle booties. Or, go with skinny denim and a cropped sweater or sweatshirt and OTK boots – if you jumped on the burgundy suede trend last year, you’re good to go. Otherwise, try leather tones that lean red. Skirts can get in on this party too: midi, maxi, wrap, tulle: they all work. Pair them with a statement-sleeve piece or simple cashmere pullover. Don’t forget about the possibility of making a dress do double duty by topping it with a sweater. It’s a fabulous way to get extra mileage out of a piece you might tend to relegate to your summer wardrobe. Finish with knee boots for relaxed practicality and a foil for the femininity. There are so many options when designing a look with this theme. Orange toned red work wonderfully with browned reds, but also look ultra modern with cranberry shades for a play on the red+pink trend. Ditto coral hues with burgundy and oxblood. If you prefer to go with red that are essentially similar, throw in some visual interest by mixing up the textures: chunky knits with smooth leather or whispery silk, casual denim with the formality of shine, sleek matte track pants with the sheen of a satin bomber or the cozy loft of faux fur or fleece. I hope this inspires you to give mixing red a try soon! Happy autumn styling!
Wow – I haven’t done one of these for a bit…feels good to be back :). Halloween got me think about pairing black with fire colors, especially metallic gold! There’s something oh so chic about the contrast between cool, sleek black and warm, glimmering gold; it gives subtle luxury to go-to black monochrome looks. It’s practically impossible to go wrong with this pairing, whether you’re accessorizing an LBD or working with one of my favorite combos, like this longline cardigan, paired with black denim (consider on-trend and so much fun velvet pants or slim chinos as alternatives) and a basic cami. Go with a cropped length on the bottom or roll/fold your full-length pair to 1-2” inches above the top of the shaft of your oh-so-fab black ankle booties (suede, leather, fabric: it’s all good). Add a belt at your waist –either inside or outside of your cardi; pick your passion :). The bold statement will be balanced by all the black, so don’t worry for even a moment that it will be over-the-top. Finish the look with coordinating gold earrings – double down on the bold with a statement pair, if that’s your jam, or echo the belt softly with slim hoops or studs. Alternatively, try this color story with a classic and super-simple autumn/winter pairing: a chunky/boxy sweater and slim pants (*also works gloriously with midi pencil and A-line skirts). I love the way this color combination takes this basic styling to new heights. Give the gold a strong, glamorous presence with a statement necklace (alternatively, layer several slimmer gold chains of varying lengths)). Reinforce the look with a second piece: a bangle or cuff bracelet or a gold-tone-hardware-embellished bag. Finish the look with black OTK or knee-high boots for an extra dose of fierce. PS if you shy away from wearing all-black, this combination does wonderful things for black+gray and navy monochrome looks as well! I hope this inspires you to give this combo a try sometime soon! Happy styling, loves :)
Favorite Looks: Floral Zen
I've come to love the simplicity of one-piece dressing, especially during the warmer months and, although I've never been a head-over-stilettos-for-prints kind of girl, I finally was seduced by the florals trend :). I've loved the addition of some non-solid pieces in my wardrobe; they bring depth and character...and they're soooo pretty! Because who doesn't want to feel like a walking garden? Even so, I can never escape my need to temper their vibe in some way, to add some more or less subtle shading to the statement my outfit makes. Completing the outfit with suede or leather ankle boots adds an edge to the sweetness of the florals. Take into boho territory with fringed pairs or Western-themed pieces. Give the look some rocker attitude with studded, buckled or other hardware-infused pieces. Add a backpack or crossbody bag in a coordinating material to reinforce the statement. Alternatively, bring a sporty twist to the styling by adding sneakers. I love the idea of pulling one of the colors in the print for a bright, fun look. Neutrals will do nicely as well! Add a baseball cap and/or oversized watch to complete the chill vibes. One of my favorite – and super simple! – options is to balance florals’ dressier vibe with casual block-heeled mules or wedge espadrilles in a classic neutral. The less formal shoe choice grounds the look, compared to the polished vibe of pumps or the sultry beauty of heeled sandals. Enhance that vibe with a coordinating belt – breezy tasseled or braided pieces, or sleek solid leather –or laidback statement earrings (think simple metal geometrics or matte beaded pieces, more than crystal or gemstones). And voila – done! Can’t get any easier than that :). And now is the time to enjoy easy…because layering season is right around the corner! Happy styling!
Brie (Hi!) More re: me under About. I'm the moving spirit behind this little life-meets-fashion fairy tale world, the home of my non-wrestling-related style musings and loves.